The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

C20 Queer Spaces: from Finella to Sissinghurst Talk

Image: Finella, Queen's Road, Cambridge: twin living rooms with the entrance corridor reflected in a mirrored wall (1929), Photograph: Dell & Wainwright / RIBA Collections.

C20 Queer Spaces: from Finella to Sissinghurst Talk

Elizabeth Darling, Jane Stevenson, Adam Nathaniel Furman and Joshua Mardell,

Thursday  10 February 2022 at 8 pm 

Queer Spaces: An Atlas of LGBTQIA+ Places and Stories will be published by the RIBA in May 2022. The editors Adam Nathaniel Furman and Joshua Mardell will introduce the book to us, and the authors, Elizabeth Darling and Jane Stevenson, will talk about some significant C20 queer spaces and their remarkable stories.

The spaces will include: Finella, Cambridge (1928-1929); Elsa Lanchester’s Cave of Harmony, London (c.1921-1929); Sissinghurst, Kent (1930-1962); the Temple of Friendship, Paris (1920s-1960s); and the Dorset homes of the writers Valentine Ackland and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

Queer spaces have been conspicuously left out of the history of C20 architecture. Yet, they have proved vital to many queer-identifying people as places of refuge, safety, and self/group expressionism, across building types, and throughout the world.

Dr. Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History at Oxford Brookes University. She researches gender, sexuality, space and reform in the 1890s–1940s and interwar English modernism. Publications include Suffragette City (2020), Wells Coates  (2012) in the Twentieth Century Architects series, and Re-forming Britain (2007).

Prof. Jane Stevenson is a Senior Research Fellow at Campion Hall, University of Oxford. She was previously Regius Professor of Humanity, University of Aberdeen. Her publications include Baroque Between the Wars (2018).

Members:  £4. Non-Members: £6.

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The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.


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